Ultimate Fighting Championship

When it comes to main­stream or tra­di­tional sports the US is, com­pared to Europe, South America and Australia, some­what res­ist­ant to Sporno — rather coy about strut­ting its stuff. Nonetheless, the US is home to spe­cial­ist, com­pletely non-coy S&M Sporno.

Say hello to Ultimate Fighting/Mixed Martial Arts, a new — and fero­ciously viol­ent — sport from the USA in which two hyper-fit pleas­ingly muscled young men in Speedos grapple in a cage in pos­i­tions that Chi Chi La Rue might blush at. Though in Ultimate Fighting, every­one fights for top.

Or maybe they’re just very feisty bottoms.

Unlike rugby or foot­ball, MMA doesn’t use Sporno to make itself more mar­ket­able or media­genic — MMA simply is Sporno. Hardcore Sporno. Yes, I know, my filthy mind is work­ing over­time again. But that doesn’t mean that UF isn’t filthy too.

MMA is also rap­idly becom­ing very pop­u­lar with spunky lads in the UK — earlier this year I atten­ded a local ‘cage fight’ as a mate of mine was com­pet­ing. The atmo­sphere was, as they say, heavy with testoster­one — so I breathed deeply. And the short-haired thick-necked lads in the audi­ence shout­ing ‘GWORRN!! STICK IT TOIM, STEVIE!!’ cer­tainly added the sense of excitement.

But since most of the ‘action’ in MMA is on the mat (the com­batants are usu­ally only on their feet for the first few seconds because the main object­ive seems to be get­ting your opponent’s heels behind his ears) I found myself slightly frus­trated by the ‘live’ exper­i­ence watch­ing from beside the ring: most of the time I could see bug­ger all.

This sport isn’t really meant to be watched in the flesh. It’s designed to be con­sumed in the pri­vacy of your own bed­room via vora­cious multiple-angle tele­photo video cam­era lenses with a pause and rewind func­tion. Enjoy.

(I don’t know about you, but I think the ref in this clip is get­ting in the way deliberately.)

Tip: Richard

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